Young chess players battle it out in championships held at St Joseph's College

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BUDDING young chess players battled it out all weekend as they tried to make the right moves at a junior chess championship.

The Wiltshire Junior Open Chess Championship and the West of England Championship, which took place at St Joseph’s College on Saturday and Sunday, saw dozens of young people aged from seven to 16 taking part.

The event, which was organised by Wiltshire Junior Chess, was part of a bigger series of tournaments which will finish with the junior world championships.

Phil Ehr, director of junior chess and education at the English Chess Federation, said: “This competition is one of the best junior competitions we have in England because of its organisation and the care that is taken by the people who run it.

“The standard of people who show up to play is one of the best in England. It forms part of a series of tournaments we call the English Youth Championship Grand Prix.

“One boy and one girl in each age group will win the English youth title and be invited to represent England in the World Youth Chess Championship or European Youth Chess Championship.”

The grand prix continues until June 2.

The West of England junior and the Wiltshire junior champions were crowned yesterday afternoon.

“The standard of play was excellent.

“They are some of the top juniors in the country and they are doing great things in the chess world,” said Mr Ehr.

“Events like this are very important to young chess players. People travel a great distance to come here and play.

“They enjoy the comraderie and competition. It is a chance for them to make friends and test their skills.”

Mr Ehr said they were impressed with the facilities at St Joseph’s College.

“St Joseph’s College is very generous with the space they offer compared to others,” he said.

“They host extremely well with the catering service and space offered.

“People who go to these tournaments really appreciate it.”

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